How do allergies affect the lungs directly?

Respiratory allergies

What is an allergy?

The job of our immune system is to protect us from penetration and damage from foreign substances. However, it can happen that our immune system overshoots its mandate and reacts more violently than necessary, although the substance, which is perceived as a troublemaker, does not pose a real threat. If the immune system gets so out of control, this leads to a harmful overreaction. This sickening hypersensitivity to substances that are not really dangerous for our body is what we call allergy. The substance that triggers the allergic reaction is called an allergen. There are now more than 20,000 substances known to cause allergies.

Some of these allergens can trigger asthma. If you follow the tips below and avoid allergens, you can alleviate the symptoms and reduce the use of medication.

pollen allergy

Pollen can cause allergies such as hay fever or asthma in humans. If asthma attacks occur more frequently in spring and summer, one should think about a pollen allergy. Even if you have a pollen allergy, you cannot completely avoid pollen. However, there are a few things you can do to keep the pollen concentration low at least at home. Here you will find various tips.

House dust mite allergy

Dust mites are tiny arachnids whose feces can cause allergic reactions. If you are allergic to dust mites, you should follow these tips:

  • Use mite-proof covers for mattresses, pillows and duvets in the bedroom. You should wash molten blankets and duvet covers once a week at at least 60 degrees.
  • The room temperature should be between 19 and 20 ° C in the living room and around 18 ° C in the bedrooms.
  • The humidity should be below 50 percent, which can be achieved by frequent ventilation.
  • Dust catchers such as heavy curtains, wall hangings or non-washable soft toys should be removed from the bedroom if possible.
  • Floor coverings such as parquet, linoleum or tiles are better than carpets.
  • Vacuuming in the presence of an allergy sufferer should be avoided. Vacuum cleaners must be equipped with a HEPA filter.
  • Air purifiers can further reduce dust mite pollution
  • Take a vacation in sunny locations in the high mountains. The number of mites at altitudes over 1200 meters above sea level is significantly lower.
  • Daily vacuuming (vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter) reduces dust to a minimum. In addition, wet the floors once a week.

Mold allergy

Mold always occurs due to excessive humidity and mostly due to incorrect or insufficient ventilation. Asthmatics are rarely only allergic to mold. Often there are also other hypersensitivities such as a pollen allergy. If you are allergic to mold, you should follow these tips:

  • Ventilate several times a day for 5 to 10 minutes with the window fully open so that the humidity does not rise too much.
  • Avoid waterlogging and constantly moist soil with indoor plants.
  • Do not use humidifiers.
  • Use the steam extractor or open the window while cooking.
  • Ventilate the bathroom thoroughly after showering and bathing. If there isn't a window, make sure the trigger is working fine.
  • Do not place furniture directly against outside walls, as condensation can form behind them, which is the best place for mold to grow.
  • Do not dry your laundry in the living room, but outside or in the laundry room. Use a tumble dryer whenever possible.
  • Do not leave food open for long periods of time - mold can also form on it.
  • If you discover mold infestation, inform the landlord: leaflet of the tenants' association

Pet hair allergy

Strictly speaking, it is not the animal hair that causes allergies, but rather certain proteins from the saliva of cats, guinea pigs and dogs that adhere to the hair.

If anyone in the family is allergic to these animals, you should not keep such pets. Experience shows that frequent bathing of pets and washing of clothes as well as thorough cleaning of living spaces cannot prevent allergic reactions. It is possible that allergens can still be detected for up to a year after the pet has left the living space.

In the event that giving away an animal is not enforceable and at least there is no severe asthma, you should bathe the animal once a week and not the animal in the living rooms and above all Not let into the bedroom.

Ambrosia allergy

Ambrosia is a plant whose pollen can cause severe allergies.
Ambrosia was introduced from North America and has been spreading in Switzerland for several years. Ambrosia pollen causes severe hay fever in many people, in some cases even asthma. The symptoms of a ragweed allergy are similar to those of a grass allergy: runny, itchy nose and watery, swollen eyes, shortness of breath or asthma attacks.

The spread of ambrosia means a serious health risk for allergy sufferers. The plant, whose flowering period lasts from the beginning of August to the end of September, was therefore declared a particularly dangerous weed in the Swiss Plant Protection Ordinance in 2006. Ambrosia plants must therefore be reported to the relevant cantonal reporting office and controlled.

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